And they’re off

And there're off!
And there’re off!

Twenty-two boats and 135 anglers sailed off into the ocean from the Port St. Charles Marina in St Peter about 6.30 a.m. today at the start of the 2013 Barbados International Game Fishing Tournament.

It was the start of the four-day premier event which involved crews fishing from 7 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. today, to continue tomorrow between 6 a.m. and 4.30p.m., and end on Sunday with the crews at sea between 6 a.m. and 3 a.m. Saturday is a non-fishing activities day at Port St. Charles.

After a full day of fishing the crews returned to dock this evening but Barbadian Frank Armstrong’s 507-pound Blue Marlin 2008 record catch was still very much intact.

There were about five marlin releases and three sailfish releases. According to tournament rules any blue marlin catch under 500 pounds is released back into the ocean. The anglers also successfully snared a number of dolphins and kingfish.

Junior angler Noah White created quite a bit of excitement aboard the Barbadian vessel More Bad. One of the blue marlin caught but eventually released because of its weight was snared by the 11-year-old. That capture was an achievement in itself for the youngster.

According to the rules of the competition from the time a fish strikes or takes a bait or lure, the angler must hook, fight and land or boat the fish without the aid of any other person except under specific conditions set down in the regulations.† Noah was accompanied aboard More Bad by Ralph White (captain), Tony White, Chris O’neal and Benjamin Moore. Both Moore and Tony White are also junior anglers.

Noah was not the only junior to shine of which there were 17 among the various crews, as well as four females.

Speaking to Barbados TODAY, Anthony Thompson of the Bounty Hunter revealed that junior angler Jake Hudson who was among his crew had caught and released a 200-plus pound marlin.

“We had a relatively okay day and we are looking forward to the rest of the competition. We were pleased with Hudson’s performance with his marlin release. We are on the leader board and hoping for the best tomorrow,” Thompson said.

In total, the competitors include 18 Barbadian boats – Never Enough captained by Robin Dash, Ocean Pearl skippered by Brian Manning, Screaming Eagle led by Larry Warren, captained by Brian Manning, Ocean Hunter captained by Robert Atwell, Storm Hunter with Frank Herrera at the helm, Sweet Peace skippered by Joe Brooker, Upstart captained by Joshua Delmas, Wicked Tuna captained by Rob Garett, Grey Ghost skippered by Gregory Ward, High Hopes captained by Allan Banfield, Lady B Good skippered by Myron Garron, Legacy captained by Jonathan Jones, Bounty Hunter skippered by Ian Sampson, Caroline Jean III led by William Tomline, Challenge II skippered by current record holder Armstrong, De Reel Viking led by Bjorn Bjerkhamm and Lukee B captained by Brett Judd.

Martinique, Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada and Canada are also represented in the tournament.

Dan Coffman heads the three-individual crew aboard the Canadian vessel Wench that also includes Kathryn and Jim Shaw, while the Grenada boat Yes Aye is skippered by Gary Clifford. The Trinidad and Tobago contingent aboard Pair A Dice is captained by George Bovell while the Martinique boat Black Pearl is headed Geoff Grist.

Captains and crews have the added incentive for doing well in the 2013 Barbados International Game Fishing Tournament.

The local four-day event is also serving as a qualifier for the International Game Fishing Association’s World Championship in Costa Rico later in the year, as well as a qualifier for the Southern Caribbean Billfish Circuit which is contested among six regional territories.

Boats fished between 15 to 30 miles off the island today.

Please also see pages 48 and 49. (WG)

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